BRITISH Transport Police is appealing for information after cable thieves targeted the railway line in Lincolnshire on two separate occasions in two days.
The first was near Ancaster Signal Box in Ancaster, overnight on Sunday, August 5, where approximately 475 metres of cable was stolen.
Police were alerted of the theft at 6am the following morning when the signalman went to open the signal box and noticed cut cable and broken troughing lids next to the track.
It is believed that thieves accessed the track at the road crossing next to Ancaster signal box sometime after 10.15pm. Luckily the cable was waiting to be connected so the theft didn’t impact on train services in the area.
The second theft took place on Tuesday, August 7 at 9.20pm. Approximately 500 metres of cable was stolen from a line side location near Allington signal box, near Grantham.
PC Steve Hopwood, of British Transport Police’s dedicated metal theft squad, said: “In both crimes, which took place within approximately 25 miles of each other, the troughing lids were cut and removed, and the cable cut and stolen.
“We have launched an investigation into both incidents, which we believe may be linked, and our officers have been visiting scrap yards in the area to monitor any cable which is being brought in where, with assistance from railway and telecoms experts, we can quickly identify stolen cable.
“Most cable thieves look for the quickest way to sell on the stolen goods – scrap yards are one such method.”
PC Hopwood added: “On the July 27, cable was stolen from the railway line approximately 25 miles away near Rutland Waters in Oakham. This crime also had a number of similarities to the Lincolnshire offences, the line being accessed from a foot crossing, the cable stolen overnight and heavy duty tools used to cut the concrete troughing and cable. We are investigating if the the crimes may be linked.
“I would like to appeal to anyone who may have any information to contact police. We have also now stepped up patrols in the area to deter criminals from carrying out these mindless attacks on the railway.”
Anyone with information about this incident should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, quoting incident number 509 of August 6 2012, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.